FEDERATION College P-TECH students emulated experiments by Google and Amazon in a drone mail drop-off on Wednesday.
Mentored by IBM, a team of five students flew a drone with a legal document attached about 600 metres and back at Federation University’s Mount Helen Campus.
Piloted by P-TECH senior student Brandon Close, the drone dropped off the document to be signed before returning to base.
IBM mentor Bryan Cameron said the experiment was similar to trials carried out by Domino’s in New Zealand and UPS, only with a lighter load (about the weight of a chocolate bar).
“It’s got the buzz around it to get kids excited about technology,” Mr Cameron said.
“There is an application there. It’s probably another five years where it’s probably going to be the norm so it’s giving that experience early.” Brandon, 18, said the project took a lot of teamwork and communication.
“The core of this was personal development which was amazing because we got to fly a drone for personal development,” he said.
The “most memorable incident” was when the students attached wire coat hangers to see what would best fix the drone to the load, P-TECH intermediate Calla Taylor said.
“The most memorable incident is the drone having a rave,” she said. “We learned coat hangers do not work.” This caused the drone “some distress” Brandon said.
“It got about a metre up and decided to just turn into a pendulum and it had a bit of a dance. I was able to catch it.” – JESSICA BLACK